Centennial, Colorado
Centennial Civic Center located on East Arapahoe Road
Centennial Civic Center located on East Arapahoe Road
Flag of Centennial, Colorado
Spirit of the Past
Centennial in Arapahoe County, Colorado.
Centennial is located in Colorado
Location of Centennial in the United States
Centennial is located in the United States
Centennial (the United States)
Coordinates: 39°35′26″N 104°52′09″W / 39.590568°N 104.869118°W / 39.590568; -104.869118[2]
Country United States
State Colorado
CountyArapahoe County[1]
IncorporatedFebruary 7, 2001
 • TypeHome rule municipality[1]
 • MayorStephanie Piko
 • Total29.867 sq mi (77.355 km2)
 • Land29.721 sq mi (76.976 km2)
 • Water0.146 sq mi (0.379 km2)
Elevation5,830 ft (1,777 m)
 • Total108,418
 • Rank11th in Colorado
288th in the United States
 • Density3,648/sq mi (1,409/km2)
 • Metro
2,963,821 (19th)
 • CSA
3,623,560 (17th)
 • Front Range
Time zoneUTC−07:00 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−06:00 (MDT)
ZIP Codes[5]
80015-80016, 80111-80112, 80121-80122,
80161 (PO Box)
Area code(s)303/720/983
FIPS code08-12815

Centennial is a home rule municipality located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States.[1] The city population was 108,418 at the 2020 United States Census, making Centennial the 11th most populous municipality in Colorado.[3] Centennial is a part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Front Range Urban Corridor.


Centennial was formed on February 7, 2001, from portions of unincorporated Arapahoe County, including the former Castlewood and Southglenn census-designated places (CDPs).[6] The citizens of the area had voted to incorporate on September 12, 2000, choosing Centennial as the official name during the vote. The name reflects Colorado's admission to the Union as the 38th state in 1876, the centennial year of the United States Declaration of Independence.[7] The state of Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State".[7]

Incorporation was approved by 77% of the voters, and the population of the area at over 100,000 made it the largest incorporation in U.S. history as of its creation. The city was incorporated in large part to prevent further annexations of unincorporated areas by the city of Greenwood Village in an attempt to improve its tax base.[citation needed] The taxes generated from businesses in unincorporated portions of Arapahoe County funded the majority of the county's services, including road work. A number of court cases[specify] eventually established the right of incorporation to take precedence over the right of annexation.[citation needed]

The city was incorporated on a promise to keep city taxes at 1%. (One of the campaigns against incorporation appealed to voters to maintain the 3.8% sales tax of the unincorporated county.) According to the Centennial website, the current sales tax rate is two-and-a-half times the promised rate, at 2.5%.

Since the city is relatively new, some people in the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area do not yet recognize the area by the name "Centennial", especially since neighboring Aurora, Englewood and Littleton are the default place names assigned by the United States Postal Service for ZIP codes serving Centennial. Thus, mailing addresses designated as "Aurora", "Englewood" or "Littleton" may actually be located in Centennial. This causes considerable confusion, as Centennial and Englewood do not even share a boundary, while some portions of Centennial are surrounded by Aurora and vice versa. [citation needed]

In 2008, Centennial voters approved a referendum by approximately a 2-to-1 margin making Centennial a home rule city.[8]

Centennial Airport, formerly Arapahoe County Airport, lies adjacent to Centennial, but is located in unincorporated Arapahoe County. The airport is not named after the city, as it predates the city by over 30 years.


Centennial is roughly divided in half by Interstate 25, with most of its business and entertainment centers lying west of the highway. The city's boundaries are highly irregular and evocative of a gerrymander, particularly the overwhelmingly residential eastern portions of the city, which appear with Foxfield, portions of Aurora, and unincorporated areas as a distorted checkerboard on the city's map.[9]

Centennial has many hills, gullies and ravines, and its open spaces are usually accompanied by recreational trails and parks, including Dry Creek Dam, DeKoevend Park, the High line Canal Trail, Willow Creek Trail, as well as Big Dry Creek and Little Dry Creek Trails. Centennial hosts most native wildlife and is a good reflection of Colorado's front range ecosystem. Centennial has seen a boost in coyote populations in recent years, leading to resident education on how to deter coyotes from eating family pets.[10]

Centennial is located at 39°35'47" North, 104°50'38" West (39.5963, −104.8439).[11]

At the 2020 United States Census, the city had a total area of 19,115 acres (77.355 km2) including 94 acres (0.379 km2) of water.[3]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census
Map of racial distribution in Centennial, 2020 U.S. census. Each dot is one person:  White  Black  Asian  Hispanic  Multiracial  Native American/Other
Centennial, Colorado – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2010[12] Pop 2020[13] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 82,664 81,391 82.35% 75.07%
Black or African American alone (NH) 3,146 3,545 3.13% 3.27%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 284 266 0.28% 0.25%
Asian alone (NH) 4,340 6,794 4.32% 6.27%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 94 109 0.09% 0.10%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 131 508 0.13% 0.47%
Mixed Race or Multi-Racial (NH) 2,261 5,387 2.25% 4.97%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 7,457 10,418 7.43% 9.61%
Total 100,377 108,418 100.00% 100.00%

The city is approximately composed of 87.4% White, 4.8% Hispanic or Latino, 3.6% Asian, 2.4% African American, 0.4% Native American, and 0.3% from other races.

The median age is 37.2 years, in comparison to the 35.3-year national average. For every 100 females, there are 98 males.


National CineMedia and United Launch Alliance are among the companies based in Centennial. According to Centennial's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[14] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer
1 Comcast
2 Arrow Electronics
3 United Healthcare
4 United Launch Alliance
5 OppenheimerFunds
6 Nordstrom Bank
7 Sierra Nevada Corporation
8 Zillow Group
9 S&P Global
10 SEAKR Engineering


Most of Centennial is within the territory of the Cherry Creek Public Schools while the western portion of the city in the territory of Littleton Public Schools.[15] Centennial is also served by a few private schools.

Private Elementary and Middle Schools



Cathy Noon, mayor, signs the Buckley Air Force Base Partnership Steering Group charter on March 31, 2015.

The city is governed under the council-manager form of government[16] which limits the power of the city to levy and collect taxes. The city council has eight members. The Mayor and Council Members are all part-time officials who hold other full-time jobs.

City of Centennial Officials
Office Incumbent
Mayor Stephanie Piko
Council Members, District I Kathy Turley Candace Moon
Council Members, District II Carrie Penaloza Tammy Mauer
Council Members, District III Ken Lucas Mike Sutherland
Council Members, District IV Ron Weidman Marlo Alston
City Clerk Barb Setterlind
City Manager Matt Sturgeon

Points of interest

Notable people

Notable individuals who were born in or have lived in Centennial include:

Surrounding municipalities

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Active Colorado Municipalities". Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  2. ^ "2014 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Places". United States Census Bureau. July 1, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Decennial Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data". United States Census Bureau, United States Department of Commerce. August 12, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original (JavaScript/HTML) on September 3, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
  6. ^ Wallace, Susan. "Centennial off to fast start". Denver Post. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Profile for Centennial, Colorado, CO". ePodunk. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  8. ^ Illescas, Carlos (June 11, 2008). "Centennial goes home rule". Denver Post.
  9. ^ "Centennial Map". open-centennial.opendata.arcgis.com. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  10. ^ "CentennialColorado.com redirects to CentennialCo.gov". Centennialcolorado.com. Archived from the original on December 13, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  12. ^ "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Centennial city, Colorado". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Centennial city, Colorado". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "Centennial, Colorado CAFR" (PDF). centennialco.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 28, 2019. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  15. ^ "Centennial Street Map - School Districts." (Archive) City of Centennial. Retrieved on December 13, 2013.
  16. ^ "City Manager's Office - City of Centennial". Centennialco.gov. Archived from the original on September 13, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  17. ^ "Cbs4denver.com - IKEA Announces Plans for Colorado Store". Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  18. ^ "IKEA Centennial Home Furnishings - IKEA". Ikea.com. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". www.ourcoloradonews.com. Archived from the original on December 29, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Arrow Electronics | 2022 Fortune 500". Fortune. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  21. ^ "Sean Tufts Stats, News and Video - LB". NFL.com.
  22. ^ "Amy Barczuk". Boston Breakers. Archived from the original on March 17, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  23. ^ "Madisen Beaty - Biography". IMDb. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  24. ^ "Kevin Gausman". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  25. ^ Associated Press (September 29, 2010). "Sheriff: Broncos WR Kenny McKinley Found Dead". NPR. Archived from the original on September 21, 2010. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  26. ^ Goldstein, Richard (November 10, 2007). "George Ratterman, Football Star and Sheriff, Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  27. ^ "Spencer Swalm's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  28. ^ "Jack Tate's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  29. ^ "Ken Tribbett". Major League Soccer. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  30. ^ "Tom Costello". LinkedIn.
  31. ^ "Student shooting suspect was targeting teacher, officials say". NBC News.